Mama vs Mars – A Haibun

On this day, fourteen years ago, the God of War thrust his sword into my abdomen and stole the apples of my eyes. Like his namesake planet, I was left cold, and barren with crusted blood like iron red rust covering my once life filled belly.

On this day, fourteen years ago, I declared, “Let there be storms!” and created a maelstrom of wind and tears, anger and confusion, sadness and frustration. The storms ate the comforting, yellow sun, the brave, blue skies, the protective purple rains and the just-for-fun rainbows. The storms raged and the war commenced.

Waiting out the storm

I eat Istakhar Apples

Spring’s peace is hard-won

Happy 14th Birthday!

While this is not a traditional haibun, it does incorporate the prompt from Frank at dVerse to use Mars in a haibun. I was also able to include Anmol’s dVerse poetics request time write a poem that included apples and it’s mythologies. The links to the “apple stories” I have used are included in the actual poem.

Lastly, I was able to use Beth’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Her prompt was the phrase, “Let there be storms”. The god of war, the red planet, apples and storms – mix together with a dash of angst and pinch of nature and voila! Haibun!

March 4 is the birthday of my twins, Lucas and Larissa, who were born at 22 weeks and didn’t survive. We have always celebrated their birthday with a cake. This haibun captures a bit of the anger and sadness that comes with losing children, as well, the bittersweet aftermath of living with the reality of this grief.

©️ 2020 iido

Biking to the Beach

The shoreline changes

My breath holds steady

Memories of salt, my beacon

The sea air shifts the sand

While waves grab the wet grains

The shoreline changes

Yet directions are not needed

The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal

My breath holds steady

Despite the sting in my eyes

Quickly there and then gone

Memories of salt, my beacon

This cascade poem incorporates four (4) prompts: Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #220 – Shoreline, Merril at dVerse’s call for poems about impermanence, Punam’s Ragtag Daily Prompt – Beacon and the picture is courtesy of Sadje’s “What do you see?” Challenge #18. Sometimes it takes all these little pieces to create something big and beautiful (at least I hope this poem is such).

The idea of impermanence made me think of beaches and the changing shore. There are so many happy memories that can be made at the seashore. However, memories can change from year to year. The smell, feel, and taste of salt water and air also goes well with the salty tears shed in making bittersweet memories.

Ironically, (at least in stories and movies) people seem to go to the beach to get away from some painful event or memory without realizing that the pain is as impermanent as the seashore.

This month, remembering how transient the difficulties of life is, helped me keep moving forward – my beacon for this month. As the Persian adage states, “This too shall pass.”

©️ 2020 iido

Valentine’s Day – A Poem in the Style of a One Line Story

I am digging through the trash

For the tiny red heart you

Drew on a post it note right before

The marker dropped from your hand

And the line made that annoying long beep sound

And the doctors and nurses rushed in

And pushed me out

But not before I saw them toss

Your heart in the trash

And CLEAR it, CLEAR it out of the way

So they can see the clock

That records the Time

And now I’m left looking for it

In the pile of this is unfair bullshit garbage.

I “borrowed” this picture from my friend, Loriann B‘s FB page. I’m not sure if she took it or if it was from someone else. If this is your image, please let me know do I can give you proper attribution. Thank you!

This poem was written in a one sentence story style suggested by Amaya/Gospel Isoceles for her D’Verse MTB Challenge. It doesn’t truly meet the challenge because it doesn’t meet the parameter of the story to be odd/whimsical and true however I do think it describes an event that can be considered “the end of the world as we know it”. Alas, I missed the link up, however this was defiantly a challenge that I will try again.

I also missed Patrick’s prompt #218-Tiny for last week but am “early” for his deadline on prompt #219- Dig for this week. I am totally on a streak for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge – I hope this one still counts! I really loved Patrick’s poem for “tiny” – he is truly a glorious writer and photographer!

I did not get to do any celebrating for Valentine’s Day unless you include being able to sleep without a sick child on your chest a celebration. Having all your kids sick on the same week is really hard! And they all had something different! Thank goodness for my parents who stayed to help me this week. Today, everyone was up and about so hoping we have seen the last of whatever nastiness invaded our home.

I was able to get a much needed 10 mile run in today! Not that I needed 10 miles, but I needed to get out of house and be with (healthy) adults. The ladies I was with from my She Runs this Town/Moms Run this Town chapter were totally cool and chill, like “Yeah, we’ll just run this trail back and forth a couple of times and yeah, we did 9, let’s round it out to 10!” Seriously – we just chatted and did our intervals and next thing you know…BOOM! 10 miles done!

Check out our strong legs and cute sneakers!

This brings me to 69 miles for the Taji100! And we are just starting week 3! Between being sleep deprived and covered in throw up and feverish kids, and having this awesome run and keeping up with my miles – this week actually wasn’t the “end of the world.”

©️ 2020 iido

Spring Transformations – A Haibun

The smell comes first – crisp like biting into fresh lettuce and clean like a new baby. Then a breeze with a “just right” coolness that even Goldilocks would approve of. Next comes small green buds, slowly sprouting from the soil and branches, testing patience and bringing hope.

The scent is different inside where nature has less power. Chemical, metallic, like a fake robot baby or what some earth dweller thinks the sun might smell like. There is no patience only promises of change, the beginnings (but not the endings) of transformations that manifest in mops plunged in buckets of soapy water, clothes sorted into “too big”, “too small” and “just right for now” (again, Goldilocks would be so proud), and the whirring sound of a treadmill going nowhere fast. The buds of transition form, shaking off the covered winter self to sprout the wings of the self that could be considered “the cat’s meow”.

Transformations start

The promise and hope of spring

Even cats can change

This haibun was written for Frank Tassone’s Monday Haibun prompt at DVerse to write about spring. The picture is courtesy of Sadje’s “What do you see?” Prompt #15.

This has been a bit of a busy week but only because I’ve been trying to get miles for the Taji100. That means that the time I would usually spend at night writing, I’ve been walking on the treadmill. I’ve logged 35 miles out of 100 so far!

It has been unseasonably warm this winter and we’ve also been inundated with a lot of rain. Spring seems to be already here in terms of the weather. But my body is still in hibernation mode. I don’t yet feel the need to do any big cleaning or to get out and about. I’m still holding on to my sweaters and fuzzy socks.

I’m not ready to transform into my “spring self” – the one that is ready to take on the world. Nope – my “hold on to the hygge self” is still going strong and honestly, I don’t mind the winter induced resting period. Making time to recharge and slow down is important and something that a lot of people overlook.

Cats know the value of inactivity. They may not literally transform into “catterflies” but cat owners can argue how cats can be transformative to their owners. Here’s to transformations – whether they can be seen or not!

©️ 2020 iido

Do You Want Fries With That? – A Quadrille

Your wild red hair,

Pale skin and

Painted lips belied

Your power.

Despite scientists showing

The Traditional Ways were better,

Our greased guts and

A-salt-ed hearts craved the

Colonial Menu

Of broken McPromises and

Big McLies.

Our health for Your wealth.

Not funny, Clown.

Jamie Dedes had a guest “prompter” this past week, Zimbabwean poet activist, Mbizo Chirasha. His prompt requested poems or prose about “neocolonialism or the use in place of direct imperialism of capitalism, globalization, and cultural imperialism for the suppression of human rights by First World actors in Third World arenas.” A difficult, yet thought provoking challenge. You can find responses to this prompt here.

I was also able to incorporate Kim’s prompt for D’Verse Quadrille #96 – Wild.

Being an immigrant to this first world country, I realize now how much the USA has influenced my country of origin, for better or worse. To me, this influence can be found in colorism and internalized racism. It is also most evident in the preponderance of American food, specifically fast food, found in every mall (also an American concept) and every city, large and small.

It is truly a wild concept that the USA can consider McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC and other fast food restaurants as main exports. It isn’t just the food but what that food symbolizes about the “American Dream” – is this really what America is all about?

©️ 2020 iido

Infernal Hope – A Haibun

The new year begins in the darkness of winter. We try to light it up with fireworks and cheers, loud illusions of summer happiness in the frosty night air.

Yet there is no inferno that can thaw the the frozen fear of what this new year, this new decade will bring. The crackle of global warming stabbing glaciers into rising oceans while lighting never ending fires. The heated breaths of chanting voices wanting to be heard or wanting to hear heads rolling. The red faced demands of hot-under-the-collar public servants who expect a tip for doing their job.

The twelve chimes of midnight mask my reddened eyes streaming with red-hot tears and the choked sobs of my frozen throat that cannot – can not – defrost despite the promise of new beginnings. The illusion of a friendly inferno only works until you catch on fire. Still, I walk towards that new morning sun.

Winter’s cold ignites
The need for new illusions
Hope can’t wait for Spring

Hello! Happy New Year! This is my first post of 2020 and it’s a triple play! Ok, so one prompt is a missed one from last week (Sorry, Patrick! I was away and missed the deadline but I’m still on a streak!) but the rest are current. I am especially excited about the picture prompt (above) from Sadje who has taken up the “What do you see?” Challenge from Hélène who passed away last year.

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #213 – Illusions and #214 – Inferno came together with Björn’s first dVerse haibun prompt of the year – beginnings to express my feelings about the start of this new year. Sadje’s picture was the cherry on top of this trifecta of prompts.

Beginnings are usually hopeful events however the news of the last few weeks have been anything but hopeful. This is an election year in the USA and I can already feel the tension and am bracing myself for disappointment. Why? Because people nowadays seem to thrive on fear, not hope. Maybe like in Star Wars Episode VIII, we are looking for the one person (or thing or event) to bring us hope. I think, though, that we have to look to ourselves for hope – to be the hope and even to share that with others.

©️ 2020 iido

Aftermath of Silence – A Quadrille

I turned away, jaw clenched,

Breath held, yet still seeing

The crushed spirit within her

Earth brown eyes that had

Pleaded for me to do

The thing I feared the

Most – to speak up for her

And tell him to leave

Her the fuck alone

Sometimes I write the poem and sometimes it writes itself. This one was the latter. I started it as a poem about the environment then it took a different turn. You arm chair psychologists can let me know what that means!

This quadrille incorporates De Jackson’s d’verse quadrille prompt #93 – spirit and also Kate’s Friday Fun prompt – Aftermath.

©️ iido 2019

Gratitude Gestures – A Haibun

In the chilly autumn evening, deep contented sighs battle with the hum of heated air wafting from the grate. The food has disappeared but the smell of fullness lingers: the tart scent of oranges in the cranberry sauce, the savory thyme lining the turkey’s moist cavity, the sweet butter hiding in the mashed potatoes.

Unsaid words also hide in the small gestures of family. “I love you” is plated with each dish on the table. “Take care of yourself” is served with second helpings. All desserts come with a side of “glad you decided to spend this holiday with us this year”. “Thank you’s” are coded in each utensil that is washed.

Gratitude gestures

With knives and forks and drink toasts

Autumn’s chill dissolves

I’m coming out of my food coma and wrote this haibun for Frank Tassone’s gratitude themed Haibun Monday at d’Verse and Go Dog Go’s Tuesday writing prompt themed “Thanksgiving”.

We had a traditional American Thanksgiving meal at my in-laws. I was looking forward to Thanksgiving with a Vietnamese twist however there was no turkey pho or banh mi with cranberry relish. The food was still delicious and watching the cousins play together made the occasion even more special.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year – for not only my family (immediate and extended) but also for the family of friends I have been blessed with here on WP, as well as, in real life, at school, church and my running group. The saying “many hands make light work” come to mind in terms of the many hands that touch my life and make light work of and support the improvements I need to do to become a better version of myself.

As this holiday season gets underway, I hope we all get a chance to pause and appreciate the people, things and activities that bring joy to our lives.

©️ iido 2019

The Maple at the End of My Street – A Quadrille

The setting sun filters

Through your leaves

Highlighting the new

Yellows and oranges and reds

I see you

When I return home

After I’ve gone

Through the motions

That life is ok

Even when it’s not

You filter the beauty

Back in my life

Joining in the fun this week with this 44 word poem for Merril at dVerse, Quadrille #89 – Are You Set. It was also inspired by Jamie Dedes’ wonderful Wednesday Writing Prompt to “moments and places where we enjoy the beauty and peace of nature and a deeply sensed connection with the source of our being”. You can read other responses to this prompt here. (Note: The poem above is an revised version from my original submission to The Poet by Day.)

I love sunset more than sunrise. Maybe it’s because I am inherently a night owl. It just seems so peaceful! I especially like seeing sunsets while I’m driving the car, with my kids quiet in the back – usually after a long afternoon of after school activities. My 6 year old son usually says, “Mom, look at the sunset! Take a picture! It’s so pretty!” I usually respond, “I can’t, I’m driving. Take a picture with your mind.”

©️ iido 2019